Judge Says Mueller Appointment Legal in Dismissing Russian Challenge

Judge Says Mueller Appointment Legal in Dismissing Russian Challenge

A federal judge in Washington on Monday rejected a Russian company’s motion to dismiss charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller.


U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich, who was appointed in December by President Donald Trump, denied a motion by Concord Management and Consulting LLC to dismiss a February indictment, The Hill reports.


The company, among 13 Russians and three Kremlin firms indicted by prosecutors, argued that Mueller was appointed unlawfully by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who took over the Russia investigation after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself last year.


Concord Management, which pleaded not guilty to the charges last month, is controlled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a wealthy businessman who was placed on a U.S. sanctions list earlier this year and who has ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.


The company is accused to financing the Internet Research Agency, a Moscow-based social media troll farm, to sow discord in the U.S. political system from 2014 through 2017.


Concord is accused of overseeing and providing millions of dollars in funding to the troll farm.


According to The Hill, a U.S.-based attorney sued in June, asking the court to dismiss the charges.


The motion argued that Rosenstein violated the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution when he appointed Mueller to head the Russia probe in May 2017.


Friedrich dismissed the argument on Monday.


“The special counsel is an inferior officer because he is directed and supervised by the acting attorney general,” Friedrich wrote in her decision, referring to Rosenstein.


“Although the special counsel regulations may not permit the acting attorney general to counter-demand certain decisions made by the special counsel, the special counsel remains subject to the acting attorney general’s plenary supervision,” she wrote.


Friedrich also noted that Congress “vested” Rosenstein with the authority to appoint Mueller, according to the report.



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